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Looking for pictures of 1906-7 Brush rear suspension


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I've recently dug up a pair of Truffault-Hartford shock absorbers with 1905 and 1906 pattent dates. I would like to know if they are from a Brush or were aftermarkets for another car - they would fit onto almost anything but are too early for either one of my T's.

Thanks in advance,


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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you West.

What I'm looking for is the earlier Brush rear suspension which may not have been the beehive spring, but had the Truffault-Hartford knee-action shock absorbers somehow incorporated in the design. I bought a collection of rather early parts and came up with a complete pair of these with 1906 pat dates. What little research I have done claims Brush to have been the first manufacturer to use these style shocks from the factory. What I hope to find is if these were for a Brush, or were aftermarket items for something else - lets say Model NRS Ford cars...

I've been away, but will try to get pictures to add in the next couple of days.

Thanks again,


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Guest 24 Lightsix

On a summer day in 1904 a young man by the name of William Brush helped bring about the modern automobile suspension system. Driving his brother Alanson's Crestmobile, Brush was rolling along too fast for the unpaved roads of the day and went into a curve at 30 mph. The car's right front wheel skittered onto the dirt shoulder and whammed into a deep rut. Almost at once, the wheel started to shimmy violently. The undulations of the jarred right front elliptic leaf spring had sent shock waves across the solid I-beam axle to the left side of the vehicle. This set the entire front of the car to vibrating furiously. Brush was caught unawares and lost control. The car crashed through a barbed-wire fence, hit a ditch and overturned in a cow pasture.

Several hours later young William 'fessed up to Alanson, whose demeanor switched from stern to thoughtful, since he was trying to design a better car. That car, dubbed the Brush Two-Seat Runabout, finally appeared in 1906. It featured a revolutionary suspension system that incorporated two innovations never before assembled together: front coil springs and devices at each wheel that dampened spring bounce -- shock absorbers -- mounted on a flexible hickory axle.

Some European car makers had tried coil springs, with Gottlieb Daimler in Germany being the leading exponent. However, most manufacturers stood fast with leaf springs. They were less costly, and by simply adding leaves or changing the shape from full elliptic to three-quarter or half elliptic, the spring could be made to support varying weights.

Leaf springs in one form or another have been used since the Romans suspended a two-wheeled vehicle called a Pilentum on elastic wooden poles. The first steel spring put on a vehicle was a single flat plate installed on carriages by the French in the 18th century.

The venerable leaf spring, which some manufacturers still use in rear suspensions today, was invented by Obadiah Elliot of London in 1804. He simply piled one steel plate on top of another, pinned them together and shackled each end to a carriage.

The coil spring is not a spring chicken, either. The first patent for such a spring (British patent No. 792) was issued to R. Tredwell in 1763. The main advantage of coil springs was that they did not have to be spread apart and lubricated periodically to keep them from squeaking, as leaf springs did

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